Plane loses metal parts over Lisbon suburb

A plane, believed to be an Angolan passenger jet which was forced to make an emergency landing, shed metal parts over a Lisbon suburb Monday damaging two cars and a building, authorities said. A Boeing 777 belonging to Angolan carrier TAAG with 125 people on board made an emergency landing in the Portuguese capital shortly after take-off, the airline said. Firefighters in the suburb of Almada, which is across the Tagus river from Lisbon, discovered debris measuring five centimetres by 10 (two inches by four). Debris damaged two cars and the roof of a building, Vitor Espirito Santo, commander of Almada firefighters, told AFP. "Everything seems to indicate that the pieces came from a plane which made an emergency landing in Lisbon," a police spokesman said. The pilot of the TAAG flight made an about-turn after experiencing vibrations in the right engine, the airline's representative in Portugal, Virgilio Costa, was quoted as saying by Lusa news agency. "If the investigations underway prove that the pieces belonged to the same plane, TAAG of course will assume its responsibilities," he said. A spokesman for ANA, the company managing Portuguese airports, told AFP "a Boeing 777 of the TAAG company made an emergency landing after turning around because of technical problems". The wide-body plane, the world's largest twin-engine jet, links Lisbon with the Angolan capital Luanda. It had taken off from Lisbon at 11:11 am, ANA said. The plane landed without further incidents but ANA spokesman Rui Oliveira said the emergency landing would be investigated as is normal practice. TAAF was added to the European Union aviation blacklist in 2007 because of safety shortcomings. The EU lifted the ban last March for some of its fleet, notably the Boeing 737 and 777. (c) 2010 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Dec 6, 2010